From award-winning writer Bertrand Laverdure comes Readopolis, a novel translated by Oana Avasilichioaei.
It's 2006 and down-and-out protagonist Ghislain works as a reader for a publishing house in Montreal. He's bored with all the wannabe writers who are determined to leave a trace of their passage on earth with their feeble attempts at literary arts. Obsessed by literature and its future (or lack thereof), he reads everything he can in order to translate reality into the literary delirium that is Readopolis--a world imagined out of Chicago and Montreal, with few inhabitants, a convenience store, a parrot, and all kinds of dialogues running amok: cinematic, epistolary, theatrical, and Socratic.
In the pages of Readopolis, Laverdure playfully examines the idea that human beings are more connected by their reading abilities than by anything else. Funny and sardonic, whimsical and tragic, this postmodern novel with touches of David Foster Wallace and Raymond Queneau portrays the global village of readers that the Internet created, even before the 2. 0 revolution.
Praise for Readopolis
"Readopolis is a stylistically ebullient interrogation of the effect that literature has on the readers who consume it. " &mdashSteven W. Beattie, Quill and Quire
"With Readopolis, Laverdure has created a beautiful, humorous jumble of a book. " --Dean Garlick, Montreal Review of Books
"Readopolis is at times a panorama of Montreal literary culture, at times a condemnation of the precarity and banality of cultural economies, at times a rich homage to friends and to hope, as well as to the wonders of the act of reading itself. " --Erin Moure, Tarpaulin Sky
"In Readopolis, Oana Avasilichioaei has risen to and matched the stylistic acrobatics of Bertrand Laverdure's Lectoøme. The many voices of Quebecois writing sing through in this intelligent translation&mdasha vertiginous ode to the pure, if rarely rewarded, pursuit of literature. " --Jury Citation for the Governor General's Literary Awards, Translation
Oana Avasilichioaei interweaves poetry, translation, photography, sound, and performance to explore an expanded idea of language (whether textual, visual, aural, etc.) as reverberatory and evolutionary, polylingual and polyphonic poetics, historical structures, borders and movement. Her six poetry collections include We, Beasts (Wolsak & Wynn, 2012, A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry) and Limbinal (Talonbooks, 2015). Recent sound-performance works include EIGHT OVER TWO (2019, Semi Silent Award) and OPERATOR (2018), and she is currently writing a libretto for a one-act opera (FAWN, Toronto). She has also translated eight books of poetry and prose from French and Romanian, including Bertrand Laverdure’s Readopolis (Book*hug, 2017, Governor General Literary Award). Based in Montréal, Avasilichioaei frequently crosses borders to perform her work in Canada, the United States, and Europe, and she was the 2018 Audain Visual Artist in Residence at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. See www.oanalab.com.